Sunday’s News and Notes

A split in the Nats’ minors on Sunday

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 3-2 @ Buffalo, 7:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (8-7, 4.18) vs.
Jenrry Mejia (AAA debut)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-5 (10 inn.) @ New Hampshire, 7:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (2-1, 3.72) vs.
Randy Boone (4-9, 3.65)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 7-6 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Suns OFF DAY @ Lexington, 7: Graham Hicks (1-5, 5.24) vs.
Jose Cisnero (6-6, 3.94)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 7-2 @ Aberdeen, 5:35 p.m. Christopher Jenkins (2-6, 4.31) vs.
Justin Anderson (4-4, 5.92)

Syracuse Chiefs W, 3-2 vs. Lehigh Valley
Starting Pitcher: Chico (ND) 6IP 5H 2R 2ER 2BB 2K 1HR
Pitching Star: Severino (W, 5-3) 2IP 2H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Martinez 1-2, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Orr 1-3, R, RBI
Notes: Pete Orr singled in pinch-runner Yunesky Maya and Mike Martinez doubled in Orr for the two-run rally that would erase a 2-1 deficit and give the Syracuse Chiefs a 3-2 win over Lehigh Valley. Starter Matt Chico went six innings and gave up both Iron Pig runs on five hits and two walks. Atahualpa Severino pitched the seventh and eighth innings for the win, while Adam Carr came on for a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save. The win kept pace with wild-card leader Columbus, but the Chiefs still trail by 4½ games.

Harrisburg Senators W, 6-5 vs. Trenton (10 inn.)
Starting Pitcher: Milone 6⅔ IP 6H 2R 2ER 0BB 3K
Pitching Star: Pena 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Pitching Un-Star: James (BS, 1) 1IP 3H 3R 0BB 3K 1HR
Hitting Star #1: Lombardozzi 2-4, 3R, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Valdez 2-4, 3B, RBI
Notes: Chris Marrero was intentionally walked to set up a double play and Jesus Valdez showed his disdain with an RBI single to give the Senators a 6-5 win over the Trenton Thunder. The bullpen failed Tom Milone in his bid for win #12, as Chuck James surrendered a two-run HR to the first batter he faced in the top of the seventh to turn a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit. James would give up two more runs in the top of the eighth to extend the Thunder lead to 5-2, but the Senators rallied for three in the bottom half to tie the game at 5-5, thanks to a three-run shot by Marvin Lowrance. The win kept place with third-place Bowie, while fourth-place Akron fell; Harrisburg’s lead remains 1½ over the Baysox and 3½ games over the Aeros.

Potomac Nationals L, 7-6 @ Frederick
Starting Pitcher: Holder 4IP 8H 6R 5ER 2BB 2K 3HR
Pitching Star: Martinez 2⅔ IP 1H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Norris 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lyons 2-3, R, 2B, BB
Notes: Pedro Florimon Jr. channeled Homer Simpson with a hit-by-pitch to drive in the winning run and avert a series sweep as the Frederick Keys defeated the Potomac Nationals 7-6. It was the fifth and final lead change as just three times neither team was able to score in either half of the inning. Starter Trevor Holder continues to struggle keeping the ball in the park, as surrendered three home runs in four-plus innings, charged with six runs on eight hits and two walks. Joe Testa took the loss with a rocky ninth inning that featured two hits, two walks (one intentional) and two strikeouts before the run-scoring hit-by-pitch. Despite the opportunity to gain ground, Wilmington fell in extras to Lynchburg.

Hagerstown Suns — OFF DAY
Notes: The Suns set the 2010 season with a seven-game road trip through Kentucky and West Virginia, three against the Legends, four against the Power. Hagerstown is two games out of the cellar and 1½ games away from fifth place in the second half.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 7-2 @ Aberdeen
Starting Pitcher: Jordan (ND) 6IP 6H 2R 2ER 1BB 7K 1HR
Pitching Star: Crane 2IP 1H 1R 0ER 2BB 1K
Pitching Un-Star: Meza 5BF, 3H, 2HBP
Hitting Star #1: Keyes 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 1-3, R, BB, HR, RBI
Notes: A four-run seventh broke a 2-2 tie and sent Vermont to a 7-2 loss, its fourth in the past five games. Starter Taylor Jordan went the first six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while setting down seven on strikes. The first man out of the bullpen, newly promoted from the GCL Christian Meza, failed to retire a batter, giving up three hits and hitting two batters with two pitches before Dustin Crane was able to get out of the inning with a strikeout, a groundout that sent home one runner, and a popup. Hitters of the game Kevin Keyes and Wade Moore collected the only extra-base hits, as the Lake Monsters were 0-for-8 with RISP and left… wait for it… eight men on base. The loss drops Vermont back into a tie for first place with Connecticut.

Saturday’s News and Notes

Syracuse splits, Harrisburg and GCL lose by one, the P-Nats and Suns win

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 4-3; Lost, 6-4 vs. Lehigh Valley, 5:00 p.m. Matt Chico (6-7, 3.78) vs.
Vance Worley (1-2, 3.82)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 2-1 vs. Trenton, 7:00 p.m. Tom Milone (11-5, 2.93 vs.
Dellin Betances (0-0, 1.93)
Potomac Nationals Won, 4-3 @ Frederick, 2:00 p.m. Trevor Holder (2-3, 4.03) vs.
Kenny Moreland (2-2, 5.22)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 5-2 OFF DAY N/A
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 7-1 @ Aberdeen, 5:35 p.m. Taylor Jordan (2-2, 5.33) vs.
Tyler Sexton (1-6, 7.20)
GCL Nationals Lost, 3-2
vs. GCL Marlins
SEASON OVER N/A

Syracuse Chiefs W, 4-3 (Game One) vs. Lehigh Valley
Starting Pitcher: Kown 5⅓ IP 7H 2R 2ER 2BB 1K
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Martinez 3-3, R, 2-2B, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Orr 1-3, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Mike Martinez’s sole mistake was getting thrown out at home, as the veteran minor-leaguer went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run, and 2RBI to help lead the Chiefs past the Iron Pigs 4-3. Andrew Kown started and went 5⅓ innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks to get the win while Josh Wilkie labored through the last 1⅔ innings to get the credit for his seventh save.

Syracuse Chiefs L, 6-4 vs. Lehigh Valley (Game Two)
Starting Pitcher: Mock (L, 0-1) 5IP 7H 4H 4ER 1BB 3K
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Bixler 2-2, R, 2B, BB, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Whiting 3-4, R
Notes: Centerfield was once again the defensive position for the hitter of the game as former major-leaguer Brian Bixler went 2-for-2 with a double and drove in three to lead the Chiefs offense. But it wasn’t enough as starter Garrett Mock was touched for four runs over five innings as Syracuse dropped the nightcap 6-4. The split doubleheader lowered the elimination number for the playoffs to five, as the Chiefs still trail by 4½ games with nine left to play.

Harrisburg Senators L, 2-1 vs. Trenton
Starter/Pitching Star: Thompson (ND) 7IP 5H 1R 1ER 1BB 5K
Hitting Star: Marrero 2-4
Notes: Aaron Thompson had his best start in more than three months, allowing just a single run over seven innings on five hits and one walk, but got the no-decision as the Senators were edged 2-1 by the Thunder. Hitting Star Chris Marrero got two of the team’s five hits, but the team went 0-for-9 with RISP. Rafael Martin was touched for the winning (unearned) run during his two innings of relief and was charged with the loss. Bowie also lost, but Akron won to creep to within 2½ games of Harrisburg in the wild-card race.

Potomac Nationals W, 6-4 @ Frederick
Starting Pitcher: Detwiler 3IP 2H 1R 1ER 0BB 4K 1HR
Pitching Star: McCoy (SV, 4) 1IP 0H 0R 1BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Moore 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Rhinehart 1-3, R, BB, HR, RBI
Notes: Tyler Moore doubled to tie it, and Jamar Walton tripled to get the go-ahead run as the Potomac Nationals rallied for three runs in the ninth to overcome the Frederick Keys by a score of 6-4. Ross Detwiler got the nod to start in a rehab stint and gave up a solo HR to Frederick slugger Ronnie Welty for his one run allowed over three innings. A.J. Morris continues to struggle as a reliever, as all three runners he inherited from Danny Rosenbaum came in to score during the Keys’ three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh. The win, coupled with a Wilmington loss, opened up Potomac’s lead to 1½ games (two in the loss column) as the two teams close out their series today, a possible preview of another series to come after Labor Day.

Hagerstown Suns W, 5-2 vs. Delmarva
Starting Pitcher: McCatty 4IP 1H 1R 0ER 0BB 5K
Pitching Star: Garcia (W, 4-3) 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Newswome 2-4, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Oduber 2-4, 2B
Notes: The Hagerstown Suns closed out their home schedule with a 5-2 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds, putting two games between them and last place in the Sally League’s Northern Divison. Shane McCatty got the call to start and went four innings with one unearned run allowed on one hit while setting down five on strikes. Randolph Oduber’s second game for the Suns saw the 21-year-old go 2-for-4 with a double to earn the coveted Hitting Star honors (that and $2 gets you a coffee, young man). Luis Garcia picked up the win in relief with two scoreless innings while Josh Smoker closed out the ninth for his third save.

McCatty 4.0 1 1 0 0 5

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 7-1 @ Aberdeen
Starting Pitcher: Hansen 3⅔ IP 3H 0R 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Holland 2IP 1H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Martinson 2-4, R, BB, HR, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 3-5, R, RBI
Notes: A two-run fifth followed by a three-run sixth broke open this pitcher’s duel for a 7-1 runaway victory for the Vermont Lake Monsters, snapping a three-gam losing streak. Ryan Mattheus got the win in relief of starter Bobby Hansen, who went the first 3⅔ innings with just three hits and two walks allowed to go with his two strikeouts. Hitter of the game Jason Martinson was responsible for the fifth-inning rally with a two-run blast that drove in the first of his four RBIs on the night. With the win and a Connecticut loss, Vermont regains sole possession of first place, a ½ game ahead of Tri-City.

GCL Nats L, 3-2 @ GCL Marlins
Starting Pitcher: Pedro Encarnacion (L, 0-3) 5IP 5H 3R 3ER 2BB 3K 1HR
Pitching Star: Chris Manno 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Wander Nunez 2-3, R, 2B, BB, 2SB
Hitting Star #2: Angel Montilla 1-3, R, 3SB
Notes: The GCL Nationals finished the 2010 campaign on a down note, losing to the GCL Marlins 3-2. The batters were held to just four hits, three of which came off the bats of hitters of the game Wander Nunez and Angel Montilla, who also combined to steal five bases. Starter Pedro Encarnacion went five innings, allowing all three Marlin runs on five hits and two walks. Relievers Miguel Navarro and Chris Manno combined for four scoreless innings to finish the game, with Navarro setting down two on strikes and Manno whiffing four.

Friday’s News and Notes

Harrisburg and Potomac win to keep in the playoff hunt

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 4-2 vs. Buffalo, 5:00 p.m.
(doubleheader)
TBD and TBD vs.
Taubenheim (2-2, 3.86) and
Savery (1-11, 4.85)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 4-3 vs. Trenton, 7:00 p.m. Aaron Thompson (4-13, 6.15) vs.
Manuel Banuelos (0-1, 9.53)
Potomac Nationals Won, 11-4 @ Frederick, 6:00 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (2-2, 2.43) vs.
Oliver Drake (5-6, 4.46)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 10-7 vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 8-2 @ Aberdeen, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs. Adleman (2-3, 3.12)
GCL Nationals Won, 3-1
vs. GCL Mets
@ GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs L, 4-2 vs. Buffalo
Starting Pitcher: Maya (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP 2H 1R 0ER 3BB 6K
Pitching Star: Balester 3IP 4H 1R 1ER 0BB 6K
Hitting Star: Botts 3-4, R
Notes: Yunesky Maya’s first AAA start was a loss, as the Syracuse Chiefs were held down for eight innings before rallying for two in the ninth in a 4-2 loss. Maya gave up just an unearned run over 4⅔ on two hits and three walks while striking out six. Jason Botts led the hitters with a 3-for-4 night. The loss eliminated Syracuse from the division title while still trailing the wild-card race by five games.

Harrisburg Senators W, 4-3 vs. Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Roark (ND) 6⅓ IP 8H 3R 3ER 2BB 7K 2HR
Pitching Star: Kimball (SV, 10) 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Lowrance 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Solano 2-3, R, HR, RBI
Notes: The big fly was the difference as the Harrisburg Senators won their fourth straight by a 4-3 count over the Trenton Thunder. Jhonatan Solano went deep in the seventh to tie the game a 3-3 and Marvin Lowrance matched the feat in the eighth to earn hitting star honors. Starting pitcher Tanner Roark went 6⅓ innings and allowed all three Thunder runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven. Hassan Pena got the win in relief with a scoreless eighth and Cole Kimball got the save with a scoreless ninth. The win kept pace with wild-card challengers Bowie and Akron.

Potomac Nationals W, 11-4 @ Frederick
Starting Pitcher: Alaniz 6IP 9H 3R 3ER 1BB 6K
Pitching Star: Wort 1IP 0H 0R 2BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 2-5, 2B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Jacobsen 2-6, R, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Moore 1-4, R, HR, 3RBI
Notes: Tyler Moore broke the franchise record for HRs with #29 as the Potomac Nationals pounded the Frederick Keys to the tune of 11-4. Starter Adrian Alaniz went six innings and gave up three runs on nine hits and one walk. Bill Rhinehart and Robby Jacobsen both drove in two runs to pace the 13-hit attack. The win kept pace with Wilmington, who also won last night in Lynchburg.

Hagerstown Suns W, 10-7 vs. Delmarva
Starting Pitcher: Bronson (W, 4-2) 6IP 12H 6R 6ER 0BB 0K 0HR
Pitching Star: Morrison (SV, 1) 3IP 2H 1R 0ER 1BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Nieto 3-4, R
Hitting Star #2: Cuevas 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Perez 2-4, 2R, SB, RBI
Notes: Down 4-0 and 6-5, the Suns rallied for five and four runs to overpower the Shorebirds for a 10-7 win. Starting pitcher Evan Bronson got the win despite giving up six runs on 12 hits over six innings. Adrian Nieto led the hit parade with a 3-for-4 night. Despite the win, Hagerstown was eliminated from the playoffs.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 8-2 vs. Connecticut
Starting Thrower: Barrett (L, 0-4) 2⅔ IP 5H 4R 4ER 5BB 1K 1HR
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star: Martinson 0-1, 3BB
Notes: Vermont stumbled to its third straight loss and seventh in the past 10 games by a count of 8-2, falling into a tie for first place. Aaron Barrett began the night with an ERA of 8.79 so his line of four runs on five hits over 2⅔ innings was hardly a surprise. The two teams combined for 21 walks, indicating either poor pitching or poor umpiring, but most likely a lot of both. Blake Kelso collected the team’s sole hit during the team’s two-run aberration in the sixth.

GCL Nationals W, 3-1 @ GCL Astros
Starting Pitcher: Gregory Baez (W, 1-2) 5IP 6H 1R 1ER 1BB 4K
Pitching Star: Manuel Rivera (H, 1) 3IP 0H 0R 2BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Estarlin Martinez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Roberto Perez 2-4, R, 2B
Notes: With suddenly strong pitching, the GCL Nationals beat the GCL Astros 3-1 for their third straight win. Starting pitcher Gregory Baez went the first five innings, allowing the lone run on six hits and one walk. He also struck out four. Estarlin Martinez and Roberto Perez both went 2-for-4 to pace the G-Nat offense. The win assured a fourth-place finish in the GCL East division.

Good, Bad, Interesting… Vol. 20

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE 68-63, 3rd place IL North, 11½ games back (5 games behind wild-card leader)

Good Erik Arnesen 2-0, 2.93ERA in August
Bad Seth Bynum .186BA in August
Interesting Adam Carr 5SV, 2.70ERA, 14K in 12 appearances

HARRISBURG 64-59, T3rd place, 7 games back, EL (1 game behind wild-card)

Good Mike Burgess .290/.405/.677 in 9G since promotion
Bad Aaron Thompson 0-2, 10.90ERA in August
Interesting Ryan Tatusko & Tanner Roark: 3-2, 2.23ERA as Senators

POTOMAC
31-26 in 2nd Half, 1st place by ½ game in CrL North

Good Sean Rooney .284/.352/.422 in 30G
Bad Justin Phillabaum 12.91ERA with Runners On, 17.42ERA with RISP
Interesting Joe Testa 1.10WHIP, 11K in 13⅔ IP

HAGERSTOWN
25-35 in 2nd Half, last place in SAL North, 9½ games back (Elimination No. is 1)

Good Eury Perez .341BA, 32/35SB-A since July 1
Bad Mitchell Clegg 1-2, 7.04ERA since return from GCL
Interesting SS’s Rick Hague & Adrian Sanchez, .321BA in 215AB combined

VERMONT
31-30, 1st Place Stedler Division of NY-Penn League, ½ game ahead

Good David Freitas .314/.407/.466 in 53G
Bad Aaron Barrett 16BB in 14⅓ IP
Interesting Ronnie Labrie 37BB in 56G (.390 OBP)

GCL NATIONALS
23-31, 4th place GCL East Division, 12 games back, Eliminated

Good Randolph Oduber .366/.434/.569 in 39G
Bad Gregory Baez 6.55ERA, 1.82WHIP
Interesting 19-y.o. Roberto Perez .314/.402/.419 in 34G

Thursday’s News and Notes

Harrisburg and Syracuse win to stay in the playoff hunt

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-4 (14 inn.) vs. Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. Yunesky Maya (AAA debut) vs.
Josh Stinson (0-1, 4.50)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-1 vs. Trenton, 7:00 p.m. Tanner Roark (11-6, 3.89) vs.
Andrew Brackman (3-7, 3.53)
Potomac Nationals OFF DAY @ Frederick, 7:00 p.m. Adrian Alaniz (7-4, 2.50) vs.
Nathan Moreau (4-4, 5.04)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 11-6 vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (3-2, 4.82) vs.
Patrick Kantakevich (0-7, 4.65)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 7-3 vs. Connecticut, 7:05 p.m. Aaron Barrett (0-3, 8.79) vs.
Patrick Lawson (2-3, 2.81)
GCL Nationals Won, 5-4
vs. GCL Mets
@ GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 5-4 vs. Buffalo (14 inn.)
Starting Pitcher: Arnesen 6IP 9H 3R 3ER 2BB 4K 1HR
Pitching Star #1: Carr 3IP 1H 0R 2BB 2K
Pitching Star #2: Bisenius (W, 1-0) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Bixler 3-7, SB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Orr 2-4, R, SB
Notes: Brian Bixler’s two-out RBI single gave Syracuse a 5-4 walkoff win in 14 innings over Buffalo. The win also cut the distance between the Chiefs and Bisons to two games, though Syracuse still trails Columbus by five for the IL wild card. Erik Arnesen got the start and went six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks to go with four strike outs. After giving up the tying run in the top of the seventh, the Syracuse bullpen tossed seven scoreless innings, led by pitching stars and Adam Carr (3IP) and Joe Bisenius (2IP).

Harrisburg Senators W, 3-1 vs. Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Tatusko (W, 2-1) 6IP 5H 1R 1ER 2BB 7K
Pitching Star: Spradlin (SV, 1) 3IP 1H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Marrero 3-4, R, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Valdez 2-4, 2R, 2B
Notes: The Harrisburg express continues to roll as the Senators defeated the Trenton Thunder by a 3-1 tally for their sixth win in the past seven games. Ryan Tatusko won his second game since joining the organization, tossing six innings with one run allowed on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. Chris Marrero extended his hitting streak to six games with a 3-for-4 night to lead the Senator offense. The win kept pace with Bowie and Akron, who remain 1½ and 3½ games behind Harrisburg respectively.

Potomac Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: It’s a short ride up to Frederick for a three-game set and a possible playoff preview. Second-place Wilmington was also idle last night and embarks on its final regular-season road trip with three against last-place Lynchburg.

Hagerstown Suns L, 11-6 vs. Delmarva
Starting Pitcher: Clegg 4⅔ IP 5H 6R 6ER 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: Smoker 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Perez 4-4, 2R, 2-2B, 2SB (#54, #55), RBI
Hitting Star #2: Hague 2-5, RBI
Notes: A seven-run fifth inning eclipsed the Suns as the Delmarva Shorebirds would go on to win 11-6. Starter Mitchell Clegg gave up six runs on five hits and two walks over his 4⅔ innings of work. Eury Perez was a one-man wrecking crew, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and two stolen bases to lead the Hagerstown offense. The loss reduced the Suns elimination number to one, and dropped them into a tie with Delmarva for last place in the Sally League North.

Vermont Lake Mosters L, 7-3 vs. Connecticut
Starting Pitcher: Grace (L, 0-1) 3⅓ IP 5H 6R 4ER 2BB 2K 1HR
Pitching Star: Cahill 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Moldenhauer 2-4, R, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Freitas 1-2, 2BB
Notes: Matt Grace pitched a 1-2-3 second inning, but gave up two in the first, three in the third and one more in the fourth, as the 21-year-old was smacked for six hits and walked two over 3⅓ innings as the Vermont Lake Monsters lost again, 7-3 to the Connecticut Tigers. Hitting Star and 2010 Tom Racine Award winner David Freitas led the Vermont offense with a 2-for-4 night. The loss reduces the Lake Monster lead over the second-place Tri-City Valley Cats to ½ game.

GCL Nationals W, 5-4 vs. GCL Mets
Starting Pitcher: Nick Serino 4IP 6H 2R 2ER 1BB 2K 1HR
Pitching Star: Mike Gallo 4IP 3H 0R 2BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Estarlin Martinez 2-3, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Andruth Ramirez 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Andruth Ramirez’s solo HR in the bottom of the ninth gave the GCL Nationals a 5-4 walkoff win over the GCL Mets. The blast erased a blown save by John Santiago and made a winner out of Manuel Rivera, who retired the only batter he faced. Estarlin Martinez also homered and doubled to join Ramirez in Hitting Star honors. Starting pitcher Nick Serino went the first four innings, allowing two runs on six hits plus one walk while striking out two.

Programming Note

Hitting the road for some *more* baseball…

April and Sue are both hitting the road for vacations, and we know this will shock you… but we’re going to see some baseball along the way. With our foreign correspondent trekking through the hinterlands of Canada and Northern New England and yours truly heading down I-81 to see some Appy League action (really advance scouting?) in Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia, Internet access may not be so reliable. But we’ll do our best to keep the News and Notes afloat and hope to have some features for you as well.

Wednesday’s News and Notes

Four out of six affiliates win on Wednesday

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-0 vs. Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. Erik Arnesen (5-7, 3.71) vs.
Fernando Nieve (2-0, 5.24)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 5-3 vs. Trenton, 7:00 p.m. Ryan Tatusko (10-3, 2.93) vs.
Cory Arbiso (5-2, 3.42)
Potomac Nationals Won, 7-5 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-3 vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. Mitchell Clegg (9-2, 2.92) vs.
Nick Haughian (5-3, 4.04)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 6-5 vs. Connecticut, 7:05 p.m. Matt Grace (SS-A debut) vs.
Clemente Mendoza (5-5, 4.74)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-6
@ GCL Cardinals
vs. GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 5-0 @ Lehigh Valley
Starter/Pitching Star: Martis (W, 8-7) 7⅔ IP 2H 0R 4BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Ramos 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Espinosa 2-3, R
Notes: Shairon Martis threw a season-high 7⅔ innings of scoreless baseball, combining with Andrew Kown for two-hit shutout of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs by a count of 5-0. Hitters of the game Wilson Ramos doubled and homered while Danny Espinosa singled twice to account for four of the Chiefs’ eight hits. Boomer Whiting stole two bases, including home plate in the 8th inning. The win preserved Syracuse’s slim playoff hopes, as they trail Columbus by five games and Louisville by three games with 13 games remaining.

Harrisburg Senators W, 5-3 vs. Portland
Starting Pitcher: Peacock (W, 2-1) 5⅔ IP 6H 1R 0ER 3BB 2K
Pitching Star: Kimball (SV, 9) ⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Lombardozzi 3-4, 2R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lowrance 2-4, RBI
Notes: Steve Lombardozzi couldn’t manage a single, but got the other three-quarters of the cycle with a double, triple, and a home run to lead the Harrisburg Senators to a 5-3 win over the Portland Sea Dogs. Starter Brad Peacock got his 2nd AA win with 5⅔ innings pitched and one unearned run allowed on six hits and three walks to go with two strikeouts, while Cole Kimball quashed a late rally by striking out both batters he faced for his 9th save for Harrisburg. The win coupled with a Bowie loss, extended the Sens’ lead over the Baysox to 1½ games in the race for the Eastern League West’s wildcard.

Potomac Nationals W, 7-5 vs. Wilmington
Starting Pitcher: Barthmaier (ND) 5IP 7H 4R 4ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Morris (SV, 1) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Norris 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI
Notes: See how Potomac reclaimed first place in grand fashion Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 4-3 vs. Delmarva
Starting Pitcher: Applebee (L, 5-5) 6⅓ IP 12H 4R 4ER 0BB 4K
Pitching Star: Vasquez 2⅔ IP 2H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Ramirez 4-5, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Hague 2-5, 2R, 2-2B
Notes: Clutch hitting was AWOL on Wednesday as the two teams scored just seven runs on 25 hits, combining for an abysmal 5-for-26 with RISP. But as the 4-3 score indicates, Delmarva was simply one better (or one less worse) than Hagerstown, winning 4-3. Starter Paul Applebee took the loss with all four Shorebird runs allowed on 12 hits and no walks. J.P. Ramirez went 4-for-5 to lead the 11-hit Suns offense. The loss lowered the Suns’ elimination number to three with 11 games left in the second half.

Applebee (L, 5-5) 6.1 12 4 4 0 4 0 4.00
Vasquez, W 2.2 2 0 0 0 0 0 7.19

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 6-5 vs. Connecticut
Starting Pitcher: Ott (L, 0-2) 4⅔ IP 3H 1R 0ER 2BB 5K
Pitching Star: Zellers 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Martinson 3-3, SB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Labrie 0-1, 2R, 4BB, RBI
Notes: A five-run 7th put the Lake Monsters in a 6-0 hole that they almost climbed out of with five runs across the last three innings, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 loss to Connecticut. Billy Ott was the hard-luck loser, tossing 4⅔ innings with one unearned run allowed on three hits and two walks with five batters set down on strikes. Jason Martinson went 3-for-3 to lead the offense. Second-place Tri-City also lost, preserving Vermont’s ½-game lead.

GCL Nationals W, 7-6 @ GCL Cardinals
Starting Pitcher: Ryan Mattheus 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Pitching Star: Kelvin Lopez 5IP 5H 2R 1ER 1BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Randolph Oduber 2-4, 2R, 2-2B, SB
Hitting Star #2: Angel Montilla 2-4, 2R, 3SB
Notes: A three-run rally in the 8th turned a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead, as the GCL Nationals held off the GCL Cardinals for a 7-6 win. Hitters of the game Randolph Oduber and Angel Montilla both went 2-for-4 to lead the 13-hit attack, with Oduber doubling twice and Montilla swiping three bags. Kelvin Lopez was the pitcher of the game with five innings pitched, two runs allowed on five hits and one walk, and three strikeouts. Rehabbing Ryan Mattheus tossed a scoreless inning to start the game with one hit and one walk allowed.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Bill Rhinehart’s grand slam in the 5th highlights a 7-5 victory over Wilmington that puts Potomac back in first place

Down 4-0 after 4½ innings, things were looking dismal for the Potomac Nationals. It was the sixth game of a six-game homestand that had begun with an eighth-inning meltdown against playoff-bound Winston-Salem and was threatening to send Potomac on the road down 1½ games, relying on other teams for help in their quest to make the postseason.

Like most rallies that begin in the lower half of the lineup, the big inning started slowly with a one-out walk. Then a hit batsmen. Then an error. Suddenly the bases were loaded and the top of the order was coming to the plate.

Leadoff hitter Francisco Soriano fell behind 0-2 after the first two pitches, but then worked the count full, and took the walk to send in the first run. Derek Norris would follow with a sky-high popup, and it looked for just a brief instant that yet another rally would fall short. Wilmington’s manager nevertheless made the call to the bullpen for some help to face Bill Rhinehart.

“Dolla” had doubled to left-center in the first inning, the first of just two hits up to that point. Hit no. 3 went just a little farther: A towering shot just to the right of the scoreboard for a grand slam that gave Potomac a 5-4 lead.

Marcos Frias would come on in relief of Jimmy Barthmaier in the very next inning (the sixth) and cough up the tying run on, of all things, a two-out wild pitch — the third that had eluded the grasp of catcher Derek Norris.

Norris would get his chance for redemption — be it the bases-loaded popup or the wild pitches — in the bottom of the 7th, blasting a ball just a few feet short of Rhinehart’s fifth-inning blast for a two-out double that put Potomac ahead for good at 6-5.

Both teams first man out of the bullpen would make a mistake then settle down for two-plus innings, but Wilmington’s second man out was not so lucky: surrendering an insurance run on a walk and two singles to give Potomac a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

A.J. Morris came on in the ninth to pitch a scoreless inning to earn his first professional save and ice the win, which put Potomac back in first place by ½ game and a one-game lead in the loss column. Tomorrow is the teams first scheduled off day since the August 1, and it will be badly needed to prepare for a three-game road series against Frederick this weekend, then a five-game series in Salem next Tuesday through Friday.

Tuesday’s News and Notes

The Chiefs, Sens and Suns win to highlight Tuesday night in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-4 @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (7-7, 4.42) vs.
Brian Mazone (6-12, 3.86)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-3 vs. Portland, 7:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (1-1, 4.63) vs.
Jeremy Kehrt (2-10, 4.80)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 4-2 vs. Wilmington, 7:03 p.m. Jimmy Barthmaier (3-1, 3.54) vs.
Timothy Melville (2-11, 5.29)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 5-3; Lost, 2-1 vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
Vermont Lake Monsters Canceled vs. Connecticut, 7:05 p.m. Matt Grace (SS-A debut) vs.
Brennan Smith (0-5, 3.67)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Cardinals, 12:00 p.m. N/A

Syracuse Chiefs W, 5-4 @ Lehigh Valley
Starting Pitcher: Chico 5IP 8H 3R 3ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Bisenius 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Bixler 4-5, 2B, 3B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Martinez 2-4, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Hitters of the game Michael Martinez homered and tripled to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the 9th while Josh Wilkie and Adam Carr weathered a two-hit, two-error ninth to get the win and save respectively as the Syracuse Chiefs prevailed 5-4 over the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Matt Chico started the game and went five innings, allowing three runs eight hits and two walks. The win keeps the Chiefs’ slim playoff hopes alive with the elimination nos. for the division and wild card staying put at 8 and 4.

Harrisburg Senators W, 6-3 vs. Portland
Starting Pitcher: Milone (W, 11-5) 6⅓ IP 4H 3R 3ER 1BB 7K 1HR
Pitching Star: James (H, 4) 1⅔ 2H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Marrero 2-3, R, HR, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Pahuta 2-3, 2R, HR, BB, SB, RBI
Notes: Tom Milone remains unbeaten since the All-Star break, winning for the fifth time in seven starts (11-5 overall) with a 6-3 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs. With seven strikeouts, Milone also pulled ahead of teammate Brad Peacock for the organization lead at 143, as he allowed three runs on four hits and one walk, registering his 13th quality start in 25 starts. Chris Marrero and Tim Pahuta both homered and went 2-for-3 to pace the Harrisburg offense. The win, combined with doubleheader split between Bowie and Akron, extends the Sens’ wild-card lead by a ½ game over the Baysox and 3½ games over the Aeros

Potomac Nationals L, 4-2 vs. Wilmington
Starting Pitcher: Holder (L, 2-3) 5IP 5H 4R 4ER 2BB 5K 2HR
Pitching Star: Testa 3IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star: Moresi 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: See what happens when an average pitcher gets the gift of free swinging in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns W, 5-3 vs. Lakewood (Game 1)
Starting Pitcher: Hicks 5⅓ IP 5H 0R 0BB 3K
Pitching Star: Morrison, K (W, 3-5) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Sanchez 4-5, R
Hitting Star #2: Cuevas 2-5, R, 2SB, RBI
Notes: A two-run home run by Marcus Jones in the bottom of the 9th gave the Hagerstown Suns a 5-3 victory in the first game of the doubleheader. Starter Graham Hicks got the no-decision, working 5⅓ scoreless innings with five hits and no walks allowed while striking out three, while Kyle Morrison got the win with two scoreless innings of relief with one walk allowed and two batters struck out. Adrian Sanchez led the 14-hit attack with a 4-for-5 effort, as the Suns struggled to get the clutch hit with 10 men left on base and a 2-for-15 mark with RISP.

Hagerstown Suns L, 2-1 vs. Lakewood (Game 2)
Starting Pitcher: Demny (L, 6-8) 4⅔ IP 6H 2R 0ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Erb 2⅓ IP 0H 0R 1B 3K
Hitting Star #1: Cuevas 2-3
Hitting Star #2: Perez 1-1, R, SB
Notes: A two-out error by Rick Hague in the 2nd enabled Lakewood to score two unearned runs, while the Suns could only muster one run to lose the nightcap 2-1. Starter Paul Demny was charged with both Blue Claws runs on six hits and two walks over his 4⅔ innings of work, giving him his 8th loss of the season. Hague would redeem himself with an RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd but the Suns were limited to just five hits while committing three errors.

Vermont Lake Monsters @ Lowell — CNCLD
Notes: Rain canceled the finale of this two-game series, which was also the final meeting between these two teams this season. A win by second-place Tri-City has shaved the Lake Monsters’ lead to a ½ game (two in the loss column), with a three-game series against third-place Connecticut set to begin tonight before their lone appearance at Aberdeen for Saturday through Monday.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: Just four games remain in the GCL season with the G-Nats visiting the Cardinals today and the Astros on Friday, and hosting the Mets tomorrow and the Marlins on Saturday.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Potomac flails and falls 4-2 to Wilmington

Some folks will say that Wilmington’s Will Smith dominated the P-Nats last night, but the more careful observer will tell you: This is what happens when you swing at pitcher’s pitches.

For eight innings, Potomac flailed at the Blue Rock southpaw, consistently putting themselves behind 0-2 and 1-2. For 5⅔ innings, Smith retired every batter he had faced before Nick Moresi singled up the middle to break up the perfect game.

The lanky centerfielder would be the lone exception as batter after batter refused to wait him out — even Derek Norris — as Smith racked up 12 strikeouts over eight innings against no walks.

Meanwhile, Trevor Holder’s troubles keeping the ball in the yard continued, as he surrendered two home runs to Wilmington, accounting for three of the four Wilmington runs. Holder has allowed five home runs in 45 innings for Potomac, but four have come in his last three starts.

But with such abysmal offense, it’s a nitpick. Potomac would get two runs in the bottom of the ninth against the Blue Rock bullpen as a walk, a Moresi double, and a Norris two-out double would cut the Wilmington lead in half before Tyler Moore would become the 13th and final strikeout on the night fly out to center to end the game.

The loss drops Potomac into second place, a ½ game behind Wilmington, and into a tie in the loss column. The latter matters because Wilmington will play just 68 games in the 2nd half, making it possible for the Blue Rocks to make the playoffs as a percentage-points winner.

Jimmy Barthmaier looks to stop the three-game slide for Potomac against Wilmington’s Timothy Melville, who is 0-1 with a 4.21 ERA in two starts against Potomac this season.